Changing social care: an inclusive approach

Workforce involvement and participation - Engage the workforce

In Willowbank, giving employees responsibility was seen as way of empowering staff and service users. For example, one staff member was given the opportunity to train up as finance director and take control of her development. Other staff members were encouraged to seek the training they required, and to decide how to manage their workloads and their days. Service users were empowered to take control and responsibility for their own development. In this situation (as with most situations in Willowbank), the applicable rules and actual roles for service users and staff overlapped considerably. At the start of their improvement initiative, individuals needed a lot of personal encouragement to recognise that they were capable of doing things and thus take responsibility for their own development: ‘A lot of people wouldn’t have been given the opportunity, wouldn’t know how to switch on a computer. Willowbank challenges that, asking “why can’t you?” [The director] would have been their voice while empowering them

(Willowbank board member).

The attitude of the director is adamantly one of “can-do”

(Willowbank staff and board member). (Willowbank)

How we know this